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Pure Invention: How Japan's Pop Culture Conquered the World, Export Edition (Paperback)

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The untold story of how Japan became a cultural superpower through the fantastic inventions that captured—and transformed—the world’s imagination.

The Walkman. Karaoke. Pikachu. Pac-Man. Akira. Emoji. We’ve all fallen in love with one or another of Japan’s pop-culture creations, from the techy to the wild to the super-kawaii. But as Japanese media veteran Matt Alt proves in this brilliant investigation of Tokyo’s pop-fantasy complex, we don’t know the half of it. Japan’s toys, gadgets, and imaginary worlds didn’t merely entertain. They profoundly transformed the way we live.

Get Pure Invention: How Japan's Pop Culture Conquered the World, Export Edition (Paperback) by Matt Alt and other history books online and at Fully Booked bookstore branches in the Philippines.

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The untold story of how Japan became a cultural superpower through the fantastic inventions that captured—and transformed—the world’s imagination.
 
“A masterful book driven by deep research, new insights, and powerful storytelling.”—W. David Marx, author of Ametora: How Japan Saved American Style

The Walkman. Karaoke. Pikachu. Pac-Man. Akira. Emoji. We’ve all fallen in love with one or another of Japan’s pop-culture creations, from the techy to the wild to the super-kawaii. But as Japanese media veteran Matt Alt proves in this brilliant investigation of Tokyo’s pop-fantasy complex, we don’t know the half of it. Japan’s toys, gadgets, and imaginary worlds didn’t merely entertain. They profoundly transformed the way we live.

In the 1970s and ’80s, Japan seemed to exist in some near future, gliding on the superior technology of Sony and Toyota while the West struggled to catch up. Then a catastrophic 1990 stock-market crash ushered in the “lost decades” of deep recession and social dysfunction. The end of the boom times should have plunged Japan into irrelevance, but that’s precisely when its cultural clout soared—when, once again, Japan got to the future a little ahead of the rest of us.

Hello Kitty, the Nintendo Entertainment System, and multimedia empires like Pokémon and Dragon Ball Z were more than marketing hits. Artfully packaged, dangerously cute, and dizzyingly fun, these products made Japan the forge of the world’s fantasies, and gave us new tools for coping with trying times. They also transformed us as we consumed them—connecting as well as isolating us in new ways, opening vistas of imagination and pathways to revolution. Through the stories of an indelible group of artists, geniuses, and oddballs, Pure Invention reveals how Japanese ingenuity remade global culture and may have created modern life as we know it. It’s Japan’s world; we’re just gaming, texting, singing, and dreaming in it.

More Information
ISBN 9780593236741
Length (cm) 16.0000
Width (cm) 3.0000
Height (cm) 23.0000
Publisher Crown
Publication Date Jun 23, 2020
Pages (number) 352
Genre History, Politics, and Social Sciences
Author Matt Alt
Signed No
Format Paperback
Editorial Reviews

 “As startlingly original as the inventions that it describes . . . Required reading for Japanophiles, this book reads like your most interesting anthropology textbook, weaving together interviews, anecdotes, and primary source material about some of Japan’s most iconic creations. . . . People often ask me why, as an American, I'm so interested in Japanese culture. This book finally provides me with an answer.Lauren Orsini, Forbes

“A brilliant cultural survey . . . Alt’s careful history is a reminder of [Japan’s] spirited creativity.”—Booklist (starred review)
 
“Deep, engaging . . . A savvy study of Japan’s wide influence in ways both subtle and profound.”Kirkus Reviews

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